Teaching the 5 Senses

Teaching the 5 Senses

Teaching preschoolers about the 5 senses is so much fun! You can do so many different activities, but to make things easy for you, I am sharing my favorites from my 5 Senses Weekly Curriculum. I like to start each day reading with my littles, and I have rounded up my favorite 5 Senses books in a blog post here. I love using my local library to rotate new books in my classroom library. 

teaching 5 senses books preschool


If you have ever taken a preschooler out shopping, you know they love to touch EVERYTHING. When teaching them about touch we want to encourage them to use their vocabulary to describe different textures. 

The first opportunity to use those vocabulary words is in the texture sort sensory bin. Little learners will choose items out of a sensory bin and sort them underneath labels that say “Rough, Slimy, Smooth, Soft, Hot, Cold”. This is a fun activity that requires very little prep on the teacher’s part. 

teaching 5 senses touch preschool

The second activity is the “How many can you touch?” math activity. This one can be done indoors or outdoors. Both checklists are provided for you in the weekly curriculum download. Students will explore their environment, looking for the items on the scavenger hunt to touch and writing the number they found on the recording sheet. Younger learners can color in or check the box.  

teaching 5 senses touch preschool


Preschoolers love to have opinions on how things taste (hello, picky eaters!) but teaching about the sense of taste is building on that and getting them to use the appropriate adjectives to describe the taste of things. 

One of the most popular centers in my classroom was the Jello Taste Test. Little ones got to try different flavors of the sweet treat and attempt to match them to their flavor. It was hilarious seeing their reactions to different tastes. 

teaching 5 senses taste preschool

Moving on from the taste test, kids get to practice their pattern-making skills with the Fruit Loop Bracelet Station. Little ones get to taste the different flavors while they use their fine motor skills to string the cereal on pipe cleaners in a pattern. 

teaching 5 senses touch preschool


Day three is all about the sense of smell. Day one features a little childhood nostalgia is the form of Mr. Sketch scented markers. All you have to do is print the Color and Smell pages from the lesson plans that match the markers' scents. Kids get to choose a coloring sheet (I recommend printing on cardstock) and then I helped them find the coordinating marker. Once they have colored in their picture, they get to smell it, like a homemade scratch and sniff! After they sniff they decide if they would give the scent a smiley face or sad face. 

teaching 5 senses preschool smell

If you have leftover jello powder from day one, you can pull it out now for this activity, Scented Shapes. Since we are learning about a square this month, I printed off the square sheet. Students use a glue stick to fill in the lines before sprinkling the jello powder on. Once it’s dry they have a scented square! 

teaching 5 senses smell preschool


Day 4 is all about the sense of sight. This day is a little more low-key than the others, but I still have a couple of engaging, low-prep activities up my sleeve. The first one is the Look and Find Color Sort. I start by ripping up colored paper and setting it up in a center. Kids choose a colored mat and find enough pieces that match to fill up their ten frames. This is also great for counting practice! 

teaching 5 senses sight preschool

The second activity requires three things: googly eyes, glue, and the letter "E" printables. We discuss how we use our eyes to see and that eyes start with the letter E, then students will use fine motor skills to glue the little eyes inside of the letter. 

Teaching 5 Senses: Sight


Our last day of the unit is focused on the sense of hearing and reviewing what we have learned so far. After reading a book together, we start the morning off in the music-making center. It’s time to pull out all of those toilet paper rolls and get to crafting. In this Instrument Making activity, little learners will fill their rolls with various objects (labels for each are found in the download) and seal the ends with muffin tin liners.

teaching 5 senses hearing preschool

Once they are all closed up, we make music! After shaking their instruments, we must decide which objects make loud sounds and which ones are quiet. Kids will then sort the labels under either the loud side or quiet. This was such a hit, the lessons went much longer than planned because they couldn’t stop making new instruments. Which is exactly the kind of activity we love! 

For the final activity of the week, we are bringing together what we have covered with all 5 senses with an “All About Oranges” station. Students will examine the oranges on their own before we pull out the corresponding prompt cards. Each card will guide discussion and exploration based on one of the 5 senses. This is an engaging and tasty way to end the week! 

teaching 5 senses preschool

All of these activities plus lesson plans and book recommendations can be found in my 5 Senses Weekly Curriculum.

teaching 5 senses preschool

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